Y’all, I am thrilled to introduce you today to Ruth Burk, a compassionate entrepreneur with Trades of Hope! Ruth is empowering women across the globe by selling Trades of Hope’s fair trade jewelry and accessories right here in the Triangle area of North Carolina.
Happy New Year, belles! Are any of you making resolutions for 2016? I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, though I do set personal goals for myself from time to time, and I almost always give something up or take on a new practice for Lent. This year, however, I’m kicking off 2016 with the Inside Out Challenge, which my friend Traci and I have created to explore ethical fashion and natural beauty products. We will be blogging about our experiences and invite you to follow along and/or join us (more on that below!).
I’ve known for years that many clothing companies use child and slave labor in their supply chains or pay foreign workers unfair wages. We all see it in the media from time to time when companies like Nike get exposed for supporting sweatshops. It didn’t sit well with me, but I also wasn’t sure about alternatives, and most of the time it was out of sight, out of mind. A few years ago I stumbled upon Slavery Footprint and was appalled by how many slaves I had working for me in various supply chains. I fired off emails to several companies (and amazingly, actually got a few responses!), then got busy with graduate school and never did anything serious about it. Given the choice at Whole Foods, I would typically choose the fair trade product, but that was about it.
Then, this past November, I read 7.
Traci selected it for our monthly book club, and heavens, am I glad she did. I am not kidding when I say it changed my life, in many ways that I’m only beginning to wrap my head around. Best believe, y’all will be hearing about this book more on the blog in the future.
7 really got me thinking about the choices I make with my money as a consumer, especially in regards to clothing. Simply put, it got me fired up about ethical fashion.
For the duration of 2016, I am choosing to only purchase fair trade fashion. This includes clothing, shoes, and accessories for myself as well as gifts for others. No ifs, ands, or buts. The only exception I will make is if the purchase is required in some way (i.e. a bridesmaid dress or a volunteer t-shirt). I honestly don’t foresee any of these “required” purchase in my 2016, though.
I am approximately 99% super excited about this and 1% nervous. I am taking the values I hold on the inside (social justice, belief in the value and worth of all human beings) and physically wearing them on the outside. I can’t wait to see how this challenge changes me from the inside out. And I can’t wait to share about it with y’all!
Traci’s doing something a little different with natural beauty products, and she’ll be sharing more about that on her blog soon.
Join in with us if you’d like, even if just for a month or a purchase or two, using the hashtag #2016insideout.
(Jeans photo credit: public domain image)